9. Mr. Francisco Carvajal: An excellent example of Capitalist-Socialist

Recently, talking with friends about the state of the economies in Western democracies, I remembered someone I met many years ago, one of those rare people with such uncommon business acumen and admirable humanity that he made such an impression in me that I have never forgotten it.

At the end of June 1971, I finished my Lic. degree in Mathematics at the University of Granada and immediately left for Puerto Rico, where a few days later I married my girlfriend of 4 years, and a month later I began teaching at the Catholic University of PR in Ponce. A couple of weeks before leaving my country, Mr. Antonio Sanchez-Cantalejo, father of my good friend and classmate Emilio, called his good friend from his youth, Mr. Francisco Carvajal, who he knew was successfully established in P.R. and told him that a good friend of his son was going to get married and teach at the university in P.R., and that given the fact that apart from my girlfriend I had no friends or connections over there, he had given me his address and telephone number so that I could meet him. . In addition, he asked him if I ever needed help, to please do not hesitate to give it to me because he would respond. Clearly, Mr. Antonio treated me like family.

After a few months, when I had stabilized a little in my new life, I found out that Mr. Francisco had a men’s underwear factory for men -Olympic Mills- an hour and a half from where I lived. I called and made an appointment to go say hello. When I arrived, they accompanied me to his office, and I met him in front of it where he was talking to one of the factory workers. He greeted me cordially, and he asked me to please come in and wait for him in his office, for a few minutes, while he finished. Once inside, while I was waiting, the secretary excused Mr. Francisco, explaining to me that the employee’s son was in the hospital and Mr. Francisco asked him about his condition, as well as where he was hospitalized, to undoubtedly see him at the hospital at the end of the day. Noticing my surprised face, he added, he is like that with any employee or their family member who is hospitalized. That’s how I started to know what kind of person he was.

On another occasion when I stopped by to greet him, I observed that in front of the factory there was a demonstration by the island workers’ union. When I arrived at the office, the secretary told me that Mr. Francisco had left, but I should wait for him because he was arriving soon. When I asked the secretary what the demonstration was about, she explained to me that they were trying to get the factory workers to join the union, but that would never happen; next she told me that, in that factory, 51% of the annual net profits went to the shareholders and the rest was distributed to the workers in the form of salary increases, marginal benefits, and among other benefits, I remember a scholarship fund for the workers’ children. Later I learned that consistently, the production of the factory, with the same number of workers, used to grow each year, while the losses due to deterioration of equipment were minimal, which seemed perfectly logical to me because of the human and economic treatment that received the workers, who knew that the more they produced, the more benefits they received.

​ Anecdotally I will say that, on the retirement, I believe of the director of accounting or finance, Mr. Francisco offered me the position even though I clarified that I did not know anything about business; he had confidence in me, and he thought that being a mathematician I would easily learn what was necessary. I always loved teaching and research, and at that time I was waiting for a scholarship that was approved shortly after and allowed me to do my master’s and doctorate in the USA, so I did not accept. For years I heard my wife’s jokes telling me that I lost the only opportunity for financial relief we had had. I never saw Mr. Francisco again, eventually we came to teach in the USA and remade our life here, but I never forgot him.

Throughout our lives, God places in our path people with very outstanding qualities, whether wisdom, or spirituality, or talent and generosity… whose example helps us to do the best possible with the talents we have, for me Mr. Francisco was someone like that.

Postscript. I know that Mr. Francisco died a millionaire at a late age. I just looked on the internet and enjoyed learning that at the age of 100 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. I also found that, as a platform for the development of her work as a philanthropist and humanist, in 1987 he had created a foundation that her daughters continued, and that had donated $40 million in the areas of education, arts and culture, health, social assistance and children, among other sectors.

Por Antonio R Quesada

A esta altura de mi vida reconozco que lo que creo saber es ínfimo comparado con lo que desconozco. Usando mis experiencias, trato de profundizar en algunas ideas espirituales básicas que comparto con toda humildad a fin de animar a otros a que hagan lo mismo. Agradezco de antemano cualquier sugerencia o corrección que reciba. ________________________________________________________________________________ At this time of my life, I acknowledge that what I think I know, is minimal compared to what I don’t know. Using my experiences, I try to deepen on some basic spiritual ideas that I share with all humility, with the purpose of encouraging others to do the same. I thank you in advance for any suggestions or corrections that I receive. ________________________________________________________________________________ Dr. Antonio R. Quesada, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The University of Akron. Ohio Teaching Fellow. Director of Project AMP. T^3 International Emeritus Professor.

Dejar un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *